Brian Cashman rarely says much to the media this time of year. He doesn’t say much when he’s in his office, doesn’t say much when he’s talking on his cell phone and — it turns out — he doesn’t say much when he’s standing on the roof of a 22-story building with a wig on his head and rappelling gear strapped to his waist.
Not saying much comes with the job, I suppose.
This winter, things are especially vague. A year ago, it was obvious that Cashman needed to address Derek Jeter’s negotiations, Mariano Rivera’s brief free agency and the Yankees pursuit of Cliff Lee. This year…
“There’s not a primary, obvious, stated target that everybody knows about,” Cashman said.
Does that mean there’s a target nobody knows about?
“I just think there’s a lot of players out there that I would be interested in acquiring, but I prefer trying to do that under the radar if you can,” Cashman said. “The realistic aspect of actually being able to conclude something (during the Winter Meetings), I don’t have high hopes.”
Feel free to spin that however you’d like. The exchange started with a question about whether these Winter Meetings felt different because there’s no headline name attached to the Yankees. Instead, it seems the team could go any number of directions, with the real possibility that they won’t do much of anything at all.
“We’re making the calls,” Cashman said. “We’re talking to the agents. We’re talking trades with the clubs. For the most part, nothing has transpired yet. Obviously a big effort on our part was CC Sabathia and retaining him. At the same time, we’ve got a lot of talent on this payroll, I mean, on this roster. And our payroll is not limited, it’s just not. If you add up all the money we’ve already got committed, it’s a significant amount, and it’s not necessarily as easy to slide (another big name on the roster).
“Normally a big name is big money, so it’s not as easy to slide that big name, because of the big money, into what we’ve already got committed. We’re having our conversations. We’re talking to other clubs. We’ve got prospects people like, but we like them too. If it makes sense, we’re ready to rock and roll, but if it doesn’t make sense, we’ll look at what we have and appreciate what we’ve got and be ready to go with what we’ve got.”